Five new in-progress musicals will be developed February 1 and 2 as part of the 2017 ASCAP Foundation Musical Theatre workshop hosted by Oscar- and Grammy-winning, and Tony-nominated composer-lyricist Stephen Schwartz at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills, California.
Four of the musicals will have two songs each critiqued by Schwartz and a panel of industry experts to be announced later. The four are: Welcome to Shoofly, Witch’s Night Out, The Emperor’s Birthday Suit, and Lobster Boy. The session will also include professional critique of each song, as well as panel discussions about writing for theater audiences and distinguishing theatre songs from pop songs. The session will take place February 1 at 7:30 PM.
One new musical, The Ballad of Brightwater, will get a 45-minute presentation February 2 at 7:30 PM, including professional critique with accompanying expert panel discussions. The panels will be composed of prominent musical theatre guests including producers, directors, performers, and composers.
Organized and coordinated by Michael Kerker, the workshop is presented by the American Society of Composers Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) Foundation in partnership with DreamWorks Animation and The Wallis,
Here are more details on the five musicals, with a synopsis supplied by the ASCAP Foundation:
The Ballad of Brightwater
Book, music and lyrics by Matthew McCollum
Description: Brightwater was a town in West Virginia, named after the untamed river that cut off its people from the rest of Appalachia. A town ruled by two households, both alike in rage and indecency; where the men fought with guns, knives, and wrenches, and the women preferred poison, cloth, river and rope. So when Rosie MacAleese fell in love with the son of her father’s nemesis…what on earth did she think would happen?
Music and lyrics by David Philp
Book and lyrics by Shelly Goldstein
Description: Based loosely on the real-life story of the world's most notorious freak show attraction “Lobster Boy,” a man suffering from Ectrodactyly, a condition that causes his hands and feet to fuse together like lobster claws. This rock & roll “Tale of Two Tents” looks at the bitter rivalry between the members of the Freak Show and the circus performers of the Big Top, which reaches a fever pitch when Lobster Boy’s beautiful daughter falls in love with the Big Top’s main attraction, The Human Cannonball.
The Emperor’s Birthday Suit
Book, music and lyrics by Carol Weiss
Description: A reworking of the H.C. Andersen tale combined with two other fables, “Stone Soup” and “The Boy Who Cried Wolf.” A vain emperor wants a new suit for his birthday. Two swindlers convince him they’ll make him a magical suit that only wise people can see. The emperor and royal court are taken in. The royal princess and her boyfriend (“the boy who cried wolf”) finally prove they’ve been “taken.”
Welcome To Shoofly
Book, lyrics and music by Justin Anthony Long and Jonny Lee Jr.
Music by Joanna Burns and Amanda Duncan
Description: Figuring out who you are, where you belong and what you’re supposed to do with your life is hard, especially after being kicked in the head by a horse and losing all your memories. Welcome to Shoofly, where the Button M. Britches Annual Shoofly Bakeoff is bigger than Christmas! When a mysterious amnesiac stumbles into Shoofly and threatens to dethrone the reigning champion, the Bakeoff goes awry causing absurd hysteria in the small southern town. Add three cups of fun, a teaspoon of love and a whole lot of heart and you’ve got all the right ingredients for this wild and charming original musical romp.
Witch’s Night Out
Music and lyrics by Jim Dooley
Book by Rye Mullis
Description: Two imaginative children yearn to become “real” monsters on Halloween. Their dream comes true when a witch grants their wish. Transformations, mistaken identities, angry mobs, and dance parties ensue as the Witch teaches everyone about the true meaning of Halloween.
Schwartz’s credits include the Broadway’s Wicked, Godspell, and Pippin, as well as the Walt Disney films Pocahontas and The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and the DreamWorks' film The Prince of Egypt. The two-day program is composed of various workshop sessions featuring prominent guests from all aspects of musical theater including producers, directors, critics, performers and composers. Tickets to the workshop sessions will be made available to the public but are not yet on sale.
“We are delighted to continue our partnerships with ASCAP and DreamWorks Animation and present the 2017 ASCAP Musical Theatre Workshop for the second year in a row,” said The Wallis’ Artistic Director Paul Crewes. “We see the ASCAP workshop as an important contribution to the further development of new musical works which we are keen to support.”
Writers interested in applying for participation in next year‘s ASCAP Foundation Musical Theatre Workshop in Los Angeles should submit the following:
- CD of four (4) songs from your musical
- Lyric sheets for each of the four songs
- A brief description of each song as to its plot placement
- A brief synopsis of the musical
- Biographical information for each composer, lyricist and book writer
- Contact information (including e-mail address, phone number and mailing address)
Completed submission packages should be sent to Michael A. Kerker
1900 Broadway, 7th Fl
New York, NY 10023
ATTN: ASCAP Foundation Musical Theatre Workshop
(Updated January 10, 2017)